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MRA recruits drag ACB to court

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Steven Kapoloma

About 30 people that were supposed to start work at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) have dragged to court Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director-General, Reyneck Matemba, for blocking their recruitment at the tax collector, the ACB boss has confirmed. The court has since given ACB until Wednesday next week to serve it with copies of processes in response to the matter after which the recruits will be expected to file and serve replies by May 25.

The case is expected to be heard by High Court judge, Healey Potani. “Upon the expiry of the stipulated time frame, the court shall either decide the matter on the basis of material filed before it or set a date of hearing,” the court said. Matemba said in an interview Tuesday that the graft-busting body will defend its position in court.

The matter follows a notice Matemba issued on April 15 to MRA Commissioner General, Tom Malata, stopping the recruitment of Revenue Officers over possible offences under the Corrupt Practices Act which might have been committed in the recruitment process.

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“Take notice that you shall not without my written consent or otherwise deal with any recruitment processes in relation to any employment of, or proceed with any offer of employment in respect of positions of Revenue Officers currently underway at the Malawi Revenue Authority including offers of employment already made in this regard,” Matemba’s notice said.

In their skeletal arguments, the recruits, led by Julius Makondesa, are arguing that they followed the right procedures to get the jobs.

“In brief, the applicants attended interviews for the post of Customs Officers and Revenue Officers at the Malawi Revenue Authority and they were successful. The applicants were duly offered employment and duly accepted the same, ready to report for work.

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“Before they could report for work the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau issued a restriction process in respect of Customs Officers ‘positions,” reads part of the summons.

The court has since given the recruits 14 days to file proof of service of the summons with the list of documents. MRA Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma Tuesday declined to comment on the matter.

 

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